Readers’ wildlife photos

It’s time for me to put out the call for MOAR PHOTOS. I have a decent backlog, but am getting a bit nervous. . .

We have a potpourri again today. First, some Northern cardinals, Cardinalis cardinalis (and a blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata) at the feeder from reader Paul Doerder (sadly, I’ve lost his email with notes). They look like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

And a female:

A bird from regular Stephen Barnard:

The quantum wave function of the universe determined that at 10:57AM this morning light rays reflected from this Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) would pass through the lens of my camera to be recorded on a CMOS sensor, copied to a Compact Flash card, and transferred to a computer by a meat puppet. 🙂

And a messed-up Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) from kindly reader Christopher Moss, who wrote this:

A couple of my chipmunks are having a hard time this winter. They usually disappear into their burrows as soon as it gets cold, in early November, and then I don’t see them until April. Last month one turned up in the snow looking dreadfully battered and obviously hungry. I guess he was evicted from his home by another chipmunk, a squirrel or a rat. Covered in scabs and missing fur, he looked awful. I tracked him to his new burrow and dumped a couple of pounds of sunflower seeds by his front door, which he spent a couple of days carrying inside. I haven’t seen him since, so I hope he’s snoring peacefully on his stash.
This week another chipmunk has come out into the cold – about -20ºC when he first turned up. Also looking rather the worse for wear with wounds all over and NO tail! He seems to be living over by the abandoned house next door, so I haven’t been able to make an emergency delivery, but I have put out lots of food for him and stood over him to keep the squirrels off (they have a full feeder of their own). His wounds have healed, but his fur still has some bald patches. I don’t see his tail growing back though! I’ll have to take him to Lourdes…




  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The cardinal pics are delightful!

    As in, put-it-on-a-Saturnalia-card delightful!

    • Christopher
      Posted January 29, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Female cardinals are under appreciated. I think that if the males weren’t so flashy and bright red, we would find the females much more beautiful.

    • Paul Doerder
      Posted January 30, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Thank you. At one time from the window I counted 10 males and another time 7 females, estimating well over 20 in the flock. Never could get more than 8-10 in a single photo.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Keep the Cardinals in Christmas…?

  3. Garry VanGelderen
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I see an American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
    in there as well.

  4. rickflick
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    These cardinals and jays are common in the Eastern US, but not seen in the west. I wonder what those westerners do without them?

    The quantum wave function of the universe has provided Stephen with another splendid image of the local raptor. May it crash thunderously upon his shore many times more.

    • Ann German
      Posted January 29, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I live in NW MT, and I’m currently enjoying the black-capped, chestnut-backed and mountain chickadees, the nuthatches and the flickers. This last week the house finches have made an appearance . . . my mother once said they looked as if they had been dipped in wine. Lovely. I DO wish we had cardinals, but we have Blue Jays, a recent import and not very many.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 29, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        On my next trip out, I’ll bring along a few Cardinals. Maybe they’ll like it out there. 😎

  5. Terry Sheldon
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Looks like an American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) in the center of the first picture as well.

    Also had an experience with a tailless chipmunk at a previous residence. We had a screened-in porch, which was also accessible to our (otherwise indoor) felids. This chipmunk, easily identified by his/her lack of tail was caught on the porch repeatedly by one of the cats but would escape by playing dead. Since he kept coming onto the porch despite the presence of said felids he was named SFB; short for “Shit For Brains”.

  6. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Very good!
    And may the cold and indifferent universe temporarily suspend all known laws of physics to bestow blessings on those who care for the sick and the wounded Sciuridae among us.

  7. steve oberski
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    A true story about how the chipmunk lost its tail.

    A few years ago one of the cats brought a live chipmunk into the house through the cat door and as is their wont dropped said chipmunk on the floor despite my loudly voiced commands to the contrary. The chipmunk promptly disappeared behind the furniture, making brief appearances over the next few days.

    Finally we trapped it in a corner but making a mad dash for freedom it seemed likely it would escape again so I grabbed it by the tail.

    This netted me half a tail, the by this point very irate chipmunk retaining the other half.

    We finally captured it and released it outside and it still graces our backyard, easily identifiable for obvious reasons.

    A bit of googling revealed that chipmunks have very fragile tails, perhaps an evolved means of escaping from predators.

    • Christopher
      Posted January 29, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard of “Just So” stories, but that was a Just Sick story! Ew. Skinks detaching their tales I can manage but mammals?!😖

  8. Posted January 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    The quantum wavefunction of the universe at 10:57 AM in Stephen’s time zone, stationary relative to the surface of Earth*

    • Posted January 29, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Lovely canaries and chipmunk too, though I prefer the predatory bird.

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